How long does ecstasy last?

Ecstasy has a half-life of 7 hours, although effects usually only last for about 2-3 hours. More on duration of action and ecstasy effects on the body and brain here.

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How long does it take for ecstasy to wear off? Is feeling tired to be expected after the experience of euphoric effect on MDMA? And what more should you know about the duration of action and how ecstasy works in the brain? We explore here, and invite your questions about ecstasy or getting help for ecstasy addiction at the end.

Ingredients in ecstasy

MDMA is a Schedule I controlled substance and a derivate of methamphetamine. Originally, MDMA was created to be used as an appetite suppressant. Then, in the mid 20th century, ecstasy was view to have potential use in psychotheray. Currently, MDMA currently has no legitimate medical use in the States. Why?

Ecstasy tablets are often recognized by their interesting symbols, such as smiley, yin/yang or Mitsubishi symbol, etc. and come in all different colors. The colors and markings are a nod to ecstasy’s ability to stimulate the central nervous system and act as a mild hallucinogen and psychedelic drug. What exact effects does ecstasy have on the brain and body?

Ecstasy effects on the body and brain

Ecstasy triggers mild hallucinogenic effects. Stimulant effects can make a user feel restless and energetic for an extensive period of time, sometimes lasting for hours, increasing risk of dehydration, hypertension, heart attacs and kidney failures. Ecstasy can also cause significant increase of body temperature which can lead to muscle breakdown. And keep in mind that ecstasy should never be used prior to driving. Witnesses report muscle twitching, poor response to light, laid back mood and body tremors for drivers intoxicated by ecstasy.

Further, MDMA has the potential to increase impulsivity and makes it really difficult for the user to keep selective attention, divided and sustained attention, and be able to fulfill complex attention activities. Specific changes occur in the cognitive functions of the brain when on ecstasy. Perception is altered and thinking is impaired. When high, ecstasy users have slower reactions than usual and they are disoriented in time and space. Other psychological effects include increased emotional energy, sociability and closeness, which often leads to risky behavior (unprotected sex and risk of HIV or Hepatitis C).

Ecstasy duration of action

The period of time during which you feel the effects of ecstasy depends upon environmental cues and concurrent use of other drugs. but in general, desired effects are usually dose dependent and can last from one to three hours after administration. A common trend among users to boost the overall high experience, is to combine ecstasy with LSD. Users report the increased duration of effects when these two powerful drugs are taken together.

When you have taken ecstasy orally, ecstasy effects kick in about 20 to 30 minutes later. As for residual effects, these are generally gone within 24 hours. The most uncomfortable residual effects, such as depression for no reason, confusion, and constant anxiety, however, may last for weeks after heavy use.

How long do ecstasy effects last?

The amount of time you will feel the ecstasy effects is highly dependent on the amount or dose of ecstasy administered. And here is why.

Medical research has not targeted a specific correlation between the concentration of MDMA in blood and euphoric effect (feeling “high) induced by ecstasy. MDA, the main ecstasy metabolite, is detected with concentrations varying from 5 to 10%. After you take one dose of 50 mg ecstasy, 0.02-0.08 mg/L MDMA concentration can be detected in the plasma. And if you would increase that dose to 150 mg, the concentration will reach levels of 0.44 mg/L MDMA in plasma. The peak levels of concentrations of MDMA in the first case will be at 1.5 hours later, and up to 4 hours later for the second case.

Ecstasy time in the body

Ecstasy has a half-life of 7 hours but it is absorbed pretty rapidly in the body. The majority of recovered ecstasy is excreted in urine during the initial 24 hours period, representing 20% of the ecstasy dosing. And in urine, concentration levels between 10 and 15% vary for the different metabolites. However, that number is not constant due to the non-linear stereoselective pharmacokinetics of enantiomers. Here’s why.

Ecstasy is metabolized to MDA, being the only metabolite reported by blood and plasma. To be more precise, S-(+)- MDA binds with plasma. The next stage of metabolism is the emergence of HMA and HHA, 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy and 3,4-dihydroxy derivatives from MDA, accompanied by several other polar hydroxylated metabolites, which are conjugated before their excretion through the urine.

How long does an ecstasy high last?

Ecstasy cases a group of effects, mostly manifested as impaired brain function, and can last for up to 3 hours after last dose. It is important to note here that users under the influence of ecstasy lose track of time. The environment becomes more vivid and active, colors appear brighter and lines seem to be blurry. Activities are perceived as many times faster and often users report the feeling of levitation. These effects can alter perception so that the subjective experience of drug effects seem longer than they are.

Ecstasy high effects

Just like cocaine, ecstasy is known as a binge use drug. During weekends several smaller doses of ecstasy are taken in order to maintain the effects of high and possibly alter the experience. While euphoric effect can be achieved, extensive use of ecstasy can result with apathy, depression, insomnia and depression.

Among outcomes that drug users forget (besides the unwanted effects of fatigue after use) is risk of ecstasy addiction . Keeping this in mind, consider options for getting help for ecstasy addiction if you cannot go a weekend without it. Medical professionals can provide propers ecstasy addiction treatment, which is based in behavioral therapy and psychotherapy.

How long ecstasy lasts questions

Now is time for your questions. In the section at the very bottom (the comments), please ask us a question about ecstasy or share your individual experience. We will comment and try to answer you personally and promptly.

Reference sources: Hazardous Susbstances Data Bank TOXNET: 3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration: Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy)
National Drug Intelligence Center: MDMA (ecstasy)
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Can Xo’s make you feel nauseous even 12-18 hrs after snorting them? I’ve heard you can feel nauseas or throw up but I thought they meant around the time you did them, unless I just so happened to get sick and am making a wrong connection

  2. I take MDMA at least 2 to three times a day and now I have this smell coming from my urine, vagina and wherever I sweat. It won’t go away. What should or can I do. The smell is pungent and noticeable. I tried drinking water but have not stop taking MDMA.. PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE I GO INSANE!!!

    1. Hi Kimberly. I suggest you consult a doctor ASAP. Also, you should consider treatment options because taking MDMA 2-3 times a day may be a sign of addiction and can be quite dangerous. Call the helpline on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

  3. My experience lasted almost 24 hours, but after the first 5 hours I started experinace a bad trip with paranoia and restlessness and the urge to talk to someone constantly which was horrible and I was at a family event and felt so paranoid that everyone knew that I had taken something which made me not act my self at all and was very noticeable all the way until I went to bed and woke up the next day, the first five hours were amazing but the next amount of hours which felt like forever was complete restlessness paranoi constant need to talk to someone and then followed by depression and felt very cold even tho it was 24 degrees dry mouth thirstyness and restless legs, the paranoi and the inescapable feeling made me even more paranoid. I want to know what affects the duraration of the side effects and why mine lasted so long being actually on the drug as I ate hardly anything that day and only really drunk alcohol and no food or water till the morning and lost my apetite completely also I obtained a frequently twcitching right eye whilst on the drug which was very obvious and uncontrollable and I was wondering if it was possible to become stuck in mdma if taken enough but it was my first time taking it and done about a gram but I was unsure as to what exactly was in the drug and if it was pure thanks

  4. My partner went out for 3hours,he name bk with a bear,but he’s been going to the toilet a lot,drinking heaps of water and feeling Nautilus for the last 18hours,I’ve never had drugs,I’m thnkn he’s taking something else bkoz he’s NEVER felt this bad with only been gone from home for 3hours.could he have taken ecstasy and cheated on me in that small amount of time?

  5. I took 4 ecstasy pills Sunday n 3 Monday afternoon will that be out of my system by Wednesday afternoon if I drink at least 8 glasses of water between now n then? what’s the fastest way to get it out of me?

  6. When I take ecstasy for the first time, like is it obvious to other people and will I experience any memory loss or does my brain activity rise as in when am high I didn’t forget anything everything is there

  7. @ Rick : i’m having the same problem after 4 days… did you found out anything? You went to a doctor? Or the problem disappeared? Please let me know . Cheers

  8. Hi my names rick and on the night of Thursday January 11, 2018 I experienced my first high off of ecstasy or MDMA, which scares me because it was a little over 200 mg’s. It is now the 15th of January and I’m kind of scared because I’ve noticing signs of impotence. It’s been hard obtaining an erection, the top of my penis is acting strange and is feeling numb. I’m very worried and stressed because I’m really sexually active with my girlfriend and need to find a way to relieve this.

  9. I recently took a half of ecstasy pill Friday night about 9pm and I received a urine test Thursday at 3 pm…. will it be a positive or negative result?

  10. I snorted pink crystalized mdma for first time ever taking it and i was fd up and not in a good way…At first it took about 20 mins and i felt warm and emotionally open…This i liked due to normally being more reserved emotionally but that didnt last long. About an hour into it i became severely paranoid and. Felt suicidal. I took it six hours ago and am so glad to say im starting to finally feel a little more chilled. I took this to chill and relax. I will never do drugs again. And i been an addict for ten years. I wish this drug scared me in the first place. I would never done any other drugs. Seriously. I was scared and if i were alone i would not b living to write this.

  11. This is my first time that I took ‘Smack E’ today… And I’m just scared about it.. Like how long does it stays in your body for a BEGINNER? And i regret doing it so much. Please help me out. Because My school does drug testing and I don’t want it to be positive.

  12. My grand son aged 2yrs and 5 months was given a small candy tablet like thing by a foreigner on the train. He tasted it (the smell of it was like milky with mint). After about a two hours of gap, he saw a ladies wrestling on TV and he was trying to perform same with me on the mattress. Thereafter he had a good sleep in the afternoon for around 4 hours (usually he does for around 3 hours ).
    The next day (after about 24 hours of consuming the sweet) he had fallen asleep on the sofa which also an unusual habit.

    I suspect that the sweet he was offered may be Ectassy and would like to have some advise from you to Detox him. I fear whether any harm would fall on him. Please help.

  13. I do molly cigerattes and i have to give plasma in 3to 4hours will i b ok will they find the molly will my heartrate still b racing

  14. Hi today is the first time that I’m taking and I just took an ecstasy capsule and it’s an amazing high but I’m afraid that I will become addicted…how can I make sure that today is my last time?

  15. I have recently come back from a festival which was over the period of 4 nights, as did my boyfriend. We came back Monday and we both went back to our own homes. The first night he messaged me he couldn’t sleep but I didn’t take much notice of it, last night he rang me and was very worried because again he couldn’t sleep and said he was getting the miniture electric/static shock like feelings in his ears when he tried to sleep etc and said admitted he’s worried because he took 15 pills and 3 lines of MD within the 4 nights. This is basic outline of the story. os this to do with the number of pills taken or….?

  16. I will have a drug test on friday and i took 1/4 of the pill last saturday night. Will i be clear on friday?can you share a tip?what can i do to illiminate it faster?

  17. Clean 5yrs, just wondering if Ecstacy have similar “flashbacks” like Acid. Can you get flashbacks 5yrs after using? I was hard into for over 2yrs, day and night I was ripped….

  18. I would like to know why a couple years ago i used these small green compressed pills named ecstasy gave me a good high but this “molly” or MDMA just made me stay awake? I no longer use either but am curious!

  19. Rick, it’s ok. I’ll give you some tips for your first time on it. First things first you need to stay hydrated, the drug is heating up your body the more you move. Make sure to use the bathroom too, it help with keeping you cooler. You also need salt and minerals when you take it, if your just drinking water your body is diluting the mineral which can cause brain and muscle swelling. Stay hydrated, eat some chips, enjoy your high

  20. I messed up bad peer pressure drove me to taking the pill and now I don’t know what to do . can you guys help

  21. I took a x’s pill known as (ecstasy) at 11 am … Now im still up and it hasnt wore off yet .. What should i do .. I took a sleeping pill it hasnt kicked in yet .. But im feeling sleepy what should i do..

  22. Hi I had a couple of pills a week ago and I still get huge bouts of anxiety as I feel I did not have a good experience on it. Is this normal?

  23. Hi, i’m want to get pregnant, but 1 month ago i took 2 ecstasy pills and i need to know how lomg takes to be clean affer take thise pills and no harm it? If you can help me telling me how long do you recomend to wait to try to get pregnant, i will be grateful. Best regards

    1. Hello Constanza. Ecstasy is rapidly absorbed in and passes through the body quickly and is generally out of the system within 4 days of use, even for heavy or constitutive dosing. After those days have passed your body is clear of all traces of the drug and you are in the clear.

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